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Flash-back, Murals, Etats-Unis, années 70. Vitry-sur-Seine, France. 7 September – 12 October 2014


CITYARTS WORKSHOP (Directors: James Jannuzzi and Susan Caruso-Green) Arise from Oppression, 1972. Mural painting. Grant St. and Pitt St. NEW YORK ©art-public, image : Jean-Constant Gindreau

Echoing the strong presence of works of Street-art in Vitry-sur-Seine, the exhibition, Flash-back, Etats-Unis, années 70, provides a political, social and pictorial perspective of the growth and phenomenon of mural painting as it emerged in the United States in the 1970s.

In the Spring of 1976, Hervé-Armand BECHY, art theorist and expert on public art, discovered the emerging trend of artists’ murals during a visit to New York. He decided to make it the subject of his research and so began an investigation that took him to San Francisco on the West coast and other major metropolises of the United States, collecting and recording images of urban murals.

The exhibition, Flash-back, Murals, Etats-Unis, années 70, brings together a group of these images taken in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The works reveal the creative energy and enthusiasm of artists supported by an ethos of political and social engagement that is a feature of the seventies generation. The activism of the artists redefined the relationship between art and society. The appropriation of urban wall space by the artists expressed their desire to establish direct communications with the inhabitants of the city, and to make art with the active purpose of creating a powerful commentary and expression of social issues that reflect the values of American society during that era.

Hervé-Armand BECHY

Since 1976, Hervé-Armand BECHY has been one of the principal organizers of the debate on public contemporary art internationally and, in parallel, has created important resources on public art. In 1983, he founded the magazine Dossiers de l’Art Public, and in 1997 the website www.art-public.com. He lectures at international conferences, and is the author of numerous articles and essays in journals and edited volumes devoted to public art. He is a member of the Public Art Dialogue magazine editorial board in the USA and Public Art Journal in Japan. In 2014 he published Le Mouvement Muraliste aux Etats-Unis – Regard sur la peinture murale et l’Amérique des années 1970 examining the muralist movement in the United States in the 1970s.

BECHY Le Mouvement Muraliste aux Etats-UnisPublication

Le Mouvement Muraliste aux Etats-Unis examines mural painting in the context of American society in the 1970s combining autobiographical references, educational elements, and a critical essay on contemporary art. The book places the works as public art in their essential dimension – as artistic engagement in the urban social field. Based on personal reflection and observation of the paintings and his encounters with the artists the narrative returns to the genesis and issues of ‘Street Art’. In recent decades the context of art in public space has changed dramatically and Hervé-Armand BECHY questions the current and future relationship between artists, institutions and the art market.

Le Mouvement Muraliste aux Etats-Unis – Regard sur la peinture murale et l’Amérique des années 1970. Hervé-Armand BECHY

ISBN 978-2-9547599-0-6, 132 pages, 66 colour illustrations. Text in French  / English translation – Price 27€

Publisher : ART-PUBLIC SARL, 32 Chemin Eolienne, 37100 TOURS, France

E-mail : info@art-public.com  Tél. + 33 (0)9 81 45 55 31 – 33 (0)6 62 23 13 61




Flash-back, Murals, Etats-Unis, années 70

Curators: Hervé-Armand BECHY and Catherine Viollet

7 September – 12 October 2014. Tuesday – Sunday 13h.30-18h, Wednesday 10h-12h and 1h30-18h during the exhibition.

Discussion with John Pitman Weber, Ernest Pignon-Ernest and Hervé-Armand BECHY – Tuesday 16 September, 18h 30

Déjeuner sur l’art – Thursday 18 September from 12h15

Discussion with Hervé-Armand BECHY – Sunday 28 September, 16h

Galerie Municipale 
Jean-Collet, 59, av. Guy-Môquet,  94400 Vitry-sur-Seine, FRANCE. 
Tél. : +33 (0)1 43 91 15 33


About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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